Nursing care costs

Some people affected by dementia may be eligible for NHS-funded nursing care contribution. Find out what nursing care costs are covered.

In some cases, a person with dementia may be entitled to receive NHS continuing healthcare funding.

This funding from the NHS will cover the full cost of someone’s care, if they are deemed to have a healthcare need, whether in their own home, or in a care home. It is often difficult for people with dementia to meet the criteria because they are often assessed as having social care needs rather than healthcare needs. 

When does the NHS pay for care?

Find our what NHS continuing healthcare is, how to get an assessment and how to appeal if you think you have been wrongly charged for care. 

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However, if a person with dementia is assessed for NHS continuing healthcare and found ineligible, they may still be eligible to receive NHS-funded nursing care contribution because they have a lower level of nursing care need. This is only paid to someone who is assessed as needing nursing care in a care home registered to provide nursing care. The nursing care contribution is a flat weekly amount. 

It is also possible to have a higher level of nursing care paid for by the NHS, if the person has a joint package of care. Under these circumstances, some care is assessed as healthcare, therefore NHS-funded, and some is social care.

In both of these cases, the social care element is means-tested and may be funded by the local authority and/or the person themselves.

If a person is paying for their own care in a nursing home they can still be found eligible for NHS-funded nursing care contribution which does not affect their benefits.

Care fees and the Mental Health Act 1983

If a person with dementia has been in hospital for treatment under section 3 of the Mental Health Act 1983, the NHS is responsible for any related after-care. This can include any care the person needs in their own home or in a care home. The purpose of this is to try to prevent readmission to hospital.

Further reading